Deuteronomy 32

Deuteronomy 32 contains the song that God gave Moses to teach the people that they may know and remember how to live as they enter the Promised Land.  After receiving it from God, “Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun”.  And what did it contain?  Words of praise and adoration to the God who has faithfully led the people for over 40 years on their journey.  “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak, and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like gentle rain upon the tender grass, and like showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he”.

God is our source of wisdom and hope.  We need to keep our eyes focused on Him, our Rock.  Moses goes on to tell us to “Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you”.  We have millenniums of history of God’s faithfulness, and we have plenty of things that have happened in the last 24 hours in our own life of God’s faithfulness and love if we just stop and remember.  We might need to write down some of those markers so we don’t forget, but there is so much to remember about God’s love.

When we lose our way though, God will take action.  “They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols….I will heap disasters upon them; I will spend my arrows on them”.  God is not going to turn a blind eye to us putting other things in His place.  He alone is God.  He alone is worthy of our praise.  We must never put anything else in our life as a god or idol.  There is a price to pay for that.  Anything other than God Himself will fall short.  “Where are their gods, the rock in which they took refuge” is the question people ask when they call upon a god or idol that is not the One True God.  Nothing happens because those gods and idols are nothing more than a piece of wood or iron.

So what does Moses instruct us to do?  “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law”.  We are to learn God’s Word and teach it to our children and then obey it.  It’s that last part that is the hard part – obedience.  But this is high stakes stuff. “For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess”.  If we don’t get this right, it impacts our lives.  It is the very source of what happens to us.

Moses is told to climb up Mount Nebo and die on the mountain.  Not a very romantic way to ride off into the sunset after 120 plus years on the earth walking with God.  But he knows it is time and is ready to go meet the Father.  We learn why God will not allow him to enter the Promised Land in detail: “because you broke faith with me….and because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people”.  Moses did not keep God exalted and on the Throne before His people, and it cost him the chance to triumphantly lead the people across the Jordan.  Instead God says “you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there, into the land that I am giving to the people of Israel”.  What a price to pay for disobedience.  How we live matters!

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